It was initially believed by ProFootballTalk.com that the Saints and Graham would agree to terms before the deadline for a grievance arrived. But general manager Mickey Loomis said the team doesn't view April 22 as a deadline to get a deal done. The Saints have until July 15 to sign Graham to a multi-year deal; if they don't then he can only sign the one-year franchise tender.
Graham had 86 catches for 1,215 yards and 16 touchdowns last year.
Benson said there's no pressure to get a deal done quickly, despite the April 22 deadline for Graham to challenge his franchise tag designation as a tight end. Graham wants to be paid like a receiver.
"Graham can make a strong case for consideration as a receiver for tag purposes," the report said. "The Saints can make a compelling case, too, but they surely have no desire to draw battle lines with one of their best players. That’s why it makes plenty of sense to resolve the situation before it can take a potentially ugly turn."
Graham was apparently not only referring to the non-exclusive franchise tag he received, but also the release of several veterans in an attempt to create cap space. Among them are running back Darren Sproles and wide receiver Lance Moore.
The story could take another twist, however, if those financial moves were made to allow the Saints to offer him a long-term contract.
“These negotiations are always a process, and Jimmy's been a great player for us for the last four years,” Loomis said. “Look, I had hoped and I'm sure he had hoped we'd come to some conclusion on a longer-term deal before this. But we haven't yet, and hopefully we will. ... We'll just let it play out, and I'm sure we'll get something resolved.”
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|2010||New Orleans Saints||15||5||31||356||11.5||52||5||3||1||21|
|2011||New Orleans Saints||16||11||99||1310||13.2||59||11||18||2||74|
|2012||New Orleans Saints||15||9||85||982||11.6||46||9||12||1||59|
|2013||New Orleans Saints||16||12||86||1215||14.1||56||16||19||5||61|
|2010||New Orleans Saints||15||5||1||3||3.0||3||0||0||1|
|2011||New Orleans Saints||16||11||0||0||---||0||0||0||0|
|2012||New Orleans Saints||15||9||0||0||---||0||0||0||0|
|2013||New Orleans Saints||16||12||0||0||---||0||0||0||0|
|2010||New Orleans Saints||15||2||2.0||0||0||0||0||0.0||0||0||0|
|2011||New Orleans Saints||16||0||0.0||0||0||0||0||0.0||0||0||0|
|2012||New Orleans Saints||15||0||0.0||0||0||0||0||0.0||0||0||0|
|2013||New Orleans Saints||16||3||3.0||0||0||0||0||0.0||0||0||0|
|Year||Team||G||Fum||Lost||Fum Forced||Own Rec||Opp Rec||Yds||Tot Rec||TD|
|2010||New Orleans Saints||15||1||0||0||1||0||20||1||0|
|2011||New Orleans Saints||16||1||1||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|2012||New Orleans Saints||15||1||0||0||2||0||0||2||0|
|2013||New Orleans Saints||16||0||0||0||1||0||-2||1||0|
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